Three Sugar Bowl Participants to be Inducted Into College Football Hall of Fame park
Three former Allstate Sugar Bowl participants are among the 14 members of the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Class as announced by Archie Manning, the chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. Manning, himself, is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame as well as the Most Outstanding Player of the 1970 Sugar Bowl. He is also a member of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Committee.
The Sugar Bowl now has 46 former coaches and 86 former players who have been enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.
The three former Sugar Bowl participants gaining induction to the College Hall of Fame are Ron Shoate (Oklahoma, Dec. 1972 Sugar Bowl), Vinny Testaverde (Miami, 1986 Sugar Bowl) and Danny Wuerffel (Florida, 1995 & 1997 Sugar Bowls).
The 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Class will be inducted at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 10, 2013, at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. They will be officially enshrined in the summer of 2013.
Combining the speed of a running back with exceptional strength, Rod Shoate became a dominant defensive force at perennial football powerhouse Oklahoma in the early 1970s. A two-time First-Team All-American (consensus – 1973, unanimous – 1974), Shoate helped OU to a perfect 11-0 season and the National Championship in 1974, building on a 10-0-1 record the year before. The Sooners went 29-4-1 during Shoate’s career, never finishing with a national ranking lower than No. 3. He was twice named the Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year as the Sooners claimed the conference crown in each of those seasons. As a freshman, he led Oklahoma to a 14-0 shutout of Penn State in the 1972 Sugar Bowl. Picked by New England in the second round of the 1975 NFL Draft, Shoate enjoyed a six year career with the Patriots before playing two seasons in the USFL. The Spiro, Okla., native passed away on Oct. 4, 1999.
One of the most celebrated players in a Hurricane program stocked with mythical talent, Miami’s Vinny Testaverde claimed virtually every major award during his senior season in 1986. As a senior, Testaverde earned unanimous First-Team All-American honors, and he won the Heisman Trophy, the Walter Camp Player of the Year, Maxwell, Davey O’Brien and UPI Player of the Year awards. He led the Canes to three consecutive bowls, including the 1986 Sugar Bowl and the 1987 Fiesta Bowl National Championship game. He finished his collegiate career with more than 6,000 passing yards and 48 touchdown passes, and he still ranks in the top five in virtually every passing category in school history. Testaverde, who was a redshirt on Miami’s 1983 national championship team, went 23-3 as a starter playing for legendary coaches Howard Schnellenberger and Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson.
A two-time Sugar Bowl participant, Florida’s Danny Wuerffel dominated the college football landscape both athletically and academically during his senior season. A two-time First-Team All-American, Wuerffel claimed the 1996 Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp Player of the Year, Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Unitas Golden Arm and the Sammy Baugh Trophy. The two-time SEC Player of the Year and First-Team All-SEC selection posted a 45-6-1 career mark, leading the Gators to a national title in the 1997 Sugar Bowl. Wuerffel finished his career with nearly 11,000 passing yards and 33 school records, taking Florida to bowl games in each of his four seasons under coach Steve Spurrier. Wuerffel became executive director of Desire Street Ministries in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, currently leading the organization’s various community outreach activities.